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The Blue & Gray Press | August 22, 2019

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UMW announces plan to attempt Guiness World Record for high-fives, send Hurley out in style

UMW announces plan to attempt Guiness World Record for high-fives, send Hurley out in style


The University of Mary Washington may find itself in the record books. On Wednesday, the University announced that it will be attempting to break an established Guinness World Record to achieve the highest number of people performing high-fives while simultaneously jumping.

The record will be in honor of President Hurley, who has become synonymous with the high-five as graduating students during commencement can request a high-five from President Hurley instead of a handshake by giving a code word: Eagle. Hurley has also become associated with the high-five from the hashtag #HighFiveHurley, created by the University’s public relations team

The event will take place in the Anderson Center at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13. The doors will open at 2 p.m. Registration will begin on Monday, March 7.

According to Hurley in a news release sent schoolwide, he is anticipating the world record, and is honored to be involved.

“I’m humbled by this honor…a chance to make history,” Hurley said is the University’s press release. “What a high on which to leave UMW.”

Hurley began his tenure as president in July 2010, and has been UMW’s ninth president for nearly six years.

The University may be expecting up to 3,000 people within the UMW community and the Fredericksburg community to participate. According to the news release, UMW will accept 3,000 registrants due to the capacity of the Anderson Center building. The first 2,500 participants to arrive at the event will be included in the official attempt.

The record-breaking challenge, jumping while high-fiving at the same time, has been done before. Last June in London, a group had performed the record during a celebration of British Women in Engineering.

According to a news release by UMW, simultaneous jumping with high-fives works like this: it pairs two participants, who take a small leap while slapping palms together. Participants only have five seconds of a signal being given to do the jump/high five combo.

Spectators can watch in Goolrick Gym via video stream. To have enough room to break the record, the Anderson Center is only going to be used for participants in the world record. Those who are not able to attend, according to UMW’s website, can still give a virtual high-five. People are encouraged to use hashtags #HighFiveHurley and #RecordHigh5 on Twitter and Instagram. Students gave their input on the newly-announced plan to break a world record.

Freshman Madeline Morris is positive toward the event, but feels that the day will conflict with students’ schedules.

“I think it sounds cool and if I wasn’t busy I would participate,” Morris said. “I’d love to be part of a world record, however I believe they should consider students’ schedules.” Senior geography major Maria Rivas Berger was not initially familiar with the world record, but is looking forward to the event and to honor Hurley.

“I don’t know what the world record is… But I would love to participate in it because Hurley is the man.”

For any questions, contact UMW under the page High Five-Handbook.